Nozawa Onsen

  • Consistent powder and terrain for all abilities
  • Village is jam-packed with onsens (hot springs)
  • Slopes are never crowded
  • Slopeside restaurants get very busy

Nozawa Onsen Ski Packages

Lodging Discount Price
Lime Resort Myoko
31% off $619
Ishiuchi Yungparunas
14% off $395
Shigakogen Hotel Ichibokaku
14% off $347

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Fan of face shots? Nozawa Onsen has got the goods. Regularly receiving more than 33 ft of light and fluffy powder every winter season, it’s a dream destination for any self-respecting powder hound. A place of ancient splendor, Nozawa Onsen is one of the oldest ski resorts in Japan, home to 734 ac of spectacular ski terrain, bundles of breathtaking backcountry, and an abundance of soothing hot spring onsens. Add to this the village’s truly authentic Japanese atmosphere and you’ve got yourself a ski trip quite unlike any other.

16/17 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go



December and January

For your best chance at scoring big powder days at Nozawa Onsen head over between late January and early February. The snowfall is usually heaviest during this time, so there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy a fresh dump of fluffy white stuff during your stay! December and January can see the slopes crammed with skiers and snowboarders because of the Australian school holidays (which makes up a good bulk of the tourist crowd!), but once February rolls around, the mountain tends to be much quieter. Time your visit for February or March to ditch the queues. All in all, we’d rate February as the best month to ski at Nozawa Onsen!


Narita International Airport


Nozawa Onsen (6 hours)

Base of Hikage (Walk)

  • Closest to ski area with the most lifts and trails
  • Furthest from village center, 20-30 minutes walk
  • Has a few true ski-in/ski-out lodgings

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Base of Nagasaka (Walk)

  • Closest to the center of town, 10 minute walk
  • Most convenient for those who want to be near the slopes and the village
  • Home to The Craft Room, our pick for straight off the slopes après ski

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Base of Karasawa (Walk)

  • Quieter area on the outskirts of the village
  • 10 minute walk from the main street
  • Some accommodation close to lifts

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Nozawa Onsen Village (0.50-1 mi)

  • Dining and entertainment hub
  • Cheaper accommodation than bases
  • Range of lodging and AirBnb rentals

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For beginners

Beginners will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to ski with suitable mellow terrain across the resort! The Hikage ski area is a good place to start as there are tons of easy rolling greens including Rinkan, a wide open 3 mi trail which happens to be the longest run in the resort!

For intermediates

Yamabiko is the ultimate ski area for intermediates with red (blue equivalent) only runs here! Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy some of the best mountaintop views while shredding the slopes up here, including one of our favorites Yamabiko A which has some pretty steep sections and moguls!

For experts

Nozawa Onsen lacks any form of expert terrain but advanced skiers and snowboarders won't be disappointed here. On-piste, the Challenge 39° Kabe (an ungroomed trail with a 39-degree pitch) and the Skyline Course are some of the best steep stuff here. The real action, however, is in the off-piste tree terrain in the Yamabiko area as well as the backcountry terrain which serves up all the face shots!

Find freshies

Besides the endless exceptional powder in the backcountry terrain on the backside of the mountain, fresh snow can also be found between the off-piste tree terrain in the Yamabiko area, between the trees and in the side-country off the Skyline course.

Ditch the crowds

The Hikage Gondola and Nagasaka Gondola has the worst of the worst lift queues in the morning so hop aboard other chairlifts until the lines die down. During peak season you'll want to avoid Nagasaka Gondola, Paradise Four and the Yamabiko Four chairlift.

Non skiers

With almost thirty hot springs to choose from non-skiers can soak it all up in Nozawa Onsen and embrace the traditional Japanese culture that still oozes around this authentic village. Or take a day trip to the must-see Jigokudani Monkey Park!


The mellow terrain at the Hikage ski area is the best place for families to ski and snowboard together. The Kid's Park at the Hikage base area is also perfect for families with little ones featuring fun inflatable obstacles and a tubing area!

Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa OnsenAkakura Kanko
beginner40 %40 %
intermediate30 %30 %
advanced30 %30 %
total runs36 10
ski area734ac -
summit elevation5,413ft 4,921ft
total lifts20 7
child lift ticket¥2,200 JPY ($20 USD) ¥3,000 JPY ($28 USD)
adult lift ticket¥4,800 JPY ($45 USD) ¥4,300 JPY ($40 USD)
back country
value for money
average total snowfall280″ -

Save up to 39% when you book a Nozawa Onsen package!

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Nozawa Onsen Reviews

Fabulous 4.3 / 5
based on 22 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders


How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?


How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders


How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination


Quality of the off-piste terrain


Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort


Quantity and quality of the snow


How uncrowded is the resort


Après ski and dining options


Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire


How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Very Good!4.1 / 5Mar 22, 2019
Nozawa Onsen ReviewsDakota S.
advanced skier
Hidden gem with great backcountry access. Fire festival in January is a unique spectacle. Food can't be beat. Located in a small cozy village with amazing access to onsens. Easy to get to from Tokyo... More
Good!3.8 / 5May 28, 2018
Nozawa Onsen ReviewsMartie E.
intermediate skier
The actual resort was a lot smaller than I imagined it would be.. the conditions weren't great when we were there (late Feb) and we had a few days where it was quite slushy at the lower parts. Still a lovely spot. The village is fantastic. Would love to see it in summer. Restaurants and apres options are great. Unfortunately a bit too popular with... More
Very Good!4.2 / 5May 25, 2018
Nozawa Onsen ReviewsSara C.
intermediate snowboarder
Fantastic family friendly resort, was Fantastic with 2 toddlers in terms of ease and day care. Traditional Japanese cultureand beautiful onsens. Only downside was trying to find places for dinner... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5May 04, 2018
Nozawa Onsen ReviewsJack H.
expert skier
I spent a season as a ski instructor here and it was amazing! The ski area is a good size, one of the bigger ones in japan and the snow is incredible!... More
Good!3.7 / 5May 04, 2018
Nozawa Onsen ReviewsMichael N.
advanced skier
Authentic compact village with must visit traditional hot springs, friendly people and simple but charming restaurants, Abundant dry Nagano snow, Despite impressive stats for Japan, awkward and dated lift layout with limited genuine intermediate terrain means options depleted after a few days at best. Best for families, limited nighlife.... More
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Apr 30, 2018
Nozawa Onsen ReviewsCasey G.
advanced snowboarder
Did the whole 17/18 season here, great times! Medium sized resort (but big by Japan standards) with lots of hidden side country and tree skiing to explore. People come here for the powder, not the steep lines or amazing park, but waist deep japow. Perhaps the best thing is the quaint village at the foot of the mountain. Hundreds of years old with a... More
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Dec 27, 2017
MBMark B.
advanced snowboarder
This is the place to go if you want to mix a real Japanese cultural experience with great skiing and boarding. The terrain is varied enough for a week long stay and the town is beautiful, with picturesque lane ways and plenty of public onsens to soak in after the days activities. Plenty of good restaurants as well. It gets very quiet in late... More
Superb!4.5 / 5Dec 27, 2017
PBPeter B.
advanced skier
 Defidently the most memorable place i have been to in japan. Unbelievable town rich with culture, beautiful onsen's and great food. The mountain is a master piece with a nice variety runs will 100% be back soon. ... More
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Dec 21, 2017
SMStacey M.
advanced skier
Spent 5 days at Nazawa Onsen. Mainly skiing but also enjoyed the onsens and the night life. Also had a great day tour to the snow monkeys (not to be missed!). Very pretty town and easy to navigate and the food options were awesome.... More
Very Good!4.1 / 5Dec 18, 2017
DEDean E.
expert skier
Great town with a wide variety of services and options, great variety of pisted slopes with good dry snow topped up by snowfalls, but not continuously so plenty of sunny days.... More

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